4 hospitalised after more than 40 people fall ill in food poisoning outbreak at Mandarin Orchard
SINGAPORE: Forty-two people have been taken ill, with four of them hospitalised, after a food poisoning outbreak at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, authorities said on Wednesday (Dec 5).
The food was served during a lunch banquet at the hotel on Sunday.
The Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) confirmed in a statement to Channel NewsAsia that they were investigating the incident.
"As of 9.30 am on Dec 5, 2018, 42 cases were reported to have developed symptoms of gastroenteritis. Four of the cases were hospitalised," said the statement.
"MOH, NEA and AVA have conducted a joint inspection of the caterer’s premises on Dec 4, 2018. As part of the investigations, food handlers were sent for stool screening, and food and environmental samples were taken for testing."
Mandarin Orchard Singapore said it is monitoring the situation and is on hand to help those affected.
"We have been reaching out to affected guests so that we can render support and assistance where we can and personally see how they are doing, as nothing could be more important to us at this point than their safety and well-being," said Mandarin Orchard Singapore in a statement to Channel NewsAsia.
Hotel workers who handled food have been "temporarily relieved" of their duties until they have completed medical tests and are cleared by authorities.
Mandarin Orchard Singapore also said it has stopped serving raw food prepared in the banquet kitchens during the ongoing investigation period.
In an update on Wednesday evening, a hotel spokesperson said that banquet operations at the Grand Mandarin Ballroom had been suspended "until further notice and clearance by relevant authorities".
A Channel NewsAsia reader reported that several guests at an unrelated dinner at the hotel on Sunday evening also fell ill.
The latest outbreaks come in the wake of a spate of food poisoning cases in November.
The most serious involved a fatality, after more than 80 people were taken ill when they consumed bento box lunches supplied by Spize from its River Valley outlet.
More than 20 people were hospitalised, including 38-year-old auxiliary police officer Fadli Salleh who died on Nov 14.
On Nov 23, 190 people fell ill with symptoms of gastroenteritis after consuming food prepared by restaurant group TungLok's catering arm.
On Nov 26, more than 130 students and teachers fell ill after consuming food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer and Manufacturer while attending a kids' camp.